THE MUR R AY STATE
Brown Comes Back
There may be an app for that Lindsey Coleman || Staff writer email@example.com
Overcrowded, hectic campus parking lots may have finally met their match: two graduating seniors and Murray natives who sought to slay rush hour parking dilemmas with a website project. Computer science majors John Lollar and Jason Spann are in the process of developing a program tentatively called Parking Pal, which, if implemented, will allow students and faculty to see how many parking spots are available in lots on campus. “I thought of this idea last year, just because it was a pain to park around campus during busy hours, as every commuter knows,” Spann said. Francie Ray, parking supervisor at Murray State Parking Services, said there has not been any type of commitment discussed regarding implementation at Murray State, but she has met with Lollar and Spann about the project. She said she assisted them with ideas and provided them with a copy of the Murray State parking maps. “We met with her and had a meeting for a couple hours,” Lollar said. “She seemed pretty optimistic and liked the idea and wanted us to keep moving forward with it. She thought it could potentially go somewhere.” Lollar said ideally, if Murray State chooses to adopt the program, it would be in place next year, but the project is still in the beginning phases until they can test more lots. Spann said the student app will poten-
tially show all the parking lots on campus. Users will be able to filter results based on parking pass color, proximity to certain buildings and how many spots are left. Spann said readers that use radio frequency identification technology would be placed at entrances and exits of parking lots. Each parking pass will have a tag on it. When a car enters the lot, the tag is picked up on the reader, the info will be sent to the server and it will add them to the parking lot. When they drive out, they will be removed. The readers cost $1,500, and the tags cost 50 cents. “When we talked to Francie, she said she has looked at ways to solve this issue for a while now, and all the other commercial options have been way too expensive.” Lollar said. “I think that was one of the things she liked about ours – is that is seemed to be more cost-efficient.” Lollar and Spann are in assistant professor Stanley Jointer’s CSC 530 senior capstone class. Jointer said the course is project-based, and as part of their projects, he encourages students to seek out real-world issues, solve them and seek to commercialize the work they’ve completed. Jointer said Lollar and Spann have been in several of his classes over the past few years. “Both are among the best in the department, and their parking app shows the ingenuity and intelligence that I’ve witnessed from them over the years,” Jointer said. “I eagerly anticipate their success, be it in this endeavor or another.”
Murray State’s SGA Student Senate passed two pieces of legislation in the last year, a low number in comparison to the student governments of surrounding schools. Clint Combs, former SGA president, said out of the two pieces of legislation passed, one of them affected the student body and the other concerned SGA. According to Western Kentucky University’s website, during the 2016-17 academic year, Western Kentucky’s SGA passed 66 pieces of legislation. In recent weeks, Western Kentucky’s SGA passed resolutions to support diversity, hate crime
and sexual assault training for the Western Kentucky University Police Department and a resolution supporting the expansion of vegetarian and vegan food options on campus. A majority of the legislation passed at Western Kentucky pertains to the student body. According to Austin Peay State University’s website, at least 15 pieces of legislation concerning the student body were passed. Austin Peay State University’s SGA voted to support an athletic fee increase and to install additional surveillance cameras in student housing. Combs said over the past few years, many issues were discussed, but Murray State’s SGA tends to utilize private meetings to solve
the issues brought to them. “For the longest time our student government didn’t handle issues with legislation,” Combs said. “They took the quieter approach to get things accomplished. I try to schedule a meeting to see if we can do something. For instance, we just recently had a meeting to allow some academic suspended students the ability to use counseling services, so they can continue to have mental health options until they are eligible to return to school” Combs said during his presidency, he encouraged more public discussion, but it is a change that will take time. As for programs, Combs said SGA had a hand in putting on the Presidential Lecture series,
free events in the Curris Center throughout the year and various concerts. Connor Moore, Murray State SGA election ways and means chairman, said he has heard criticisms about the Student Senate. “In the last SGA, SGA had been criticized as being stagnate, by people that aren’t aware of the impact SGA has,” Moore said. Moore said the organization’s main focus has been updating the SGA constitution and bylaws. “We are taking outdated terms and replacing them,” Moore said. “For example, instead of ‘secretary’ it’s now ‘vice president of administration.’”
Meal prep comes to Murray Katlyn Mackie Staff writer
A new meal-prep and delivery service has come to Murray and is providing meals for those seeking an alternative for healthy eating in western Kentucky. Maple Street Market is home to Fitmeals, properly-proportioned meals for people working toward health and wellness goals. Meals are prepared using farm fresh, local ingredients to promote higher quality and less-processed foods. AnneMarie Tanner, owner and founder of Maple Street Market, said the meal-prep service started in January 2016 when she leased a kitchen at the Murray Banquet Center to cook meals for her friends at the gym. She called it Fitmeals Murray. Tanner said she wanted to
try something different because of her love for working in food service. She said she told her friends she would cook them meals if they bought the groceries and the first week she prepared 15 meals. A month later she had 30 people on her waiting list. “That’s when I was like ‘This is it, this is what I want to do, this could be something,’” Tanner said. In December 2016, Tanner said she found an official location at a storefront in Murray and rebranded Fitmeals Murray to Maple Street Market with the Fitmeals being the product. Tanner said she and her staff plan the menu, do the shopping, cook all the meals, portion them appropriately and deliver them. The meals come chilled with nutrition information on each
see FITMEALS, page 2
Spring 2017 May 6 - Saturday Day Exam Time
May 8 - Monday Regular Class Time 8:30 a.m. MWF 8 a.m. Exam Time
Regular Class Time 11 a.m.-12:15 p.m. TR 10:30 a.m. Exam Time
Regular Class Time 2:30 p.m. MWF 1:30 p.m. Exam Time
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May 9 - Tuesday Regular Class Time 9:30 a.m. MWF 8 a.m. Exam Time
Regular Class Time 11:30 a.m. MWF 10:30 a.m. Exam Time
Regular Class Time 12:30-1:45 p.m. TR 1:30 p.m. Exam Time
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May 10 - Wednesday Regular Class Time 9:30-10:45 a.m. TR 8 a.m. Exam Time
Regular Class Time 12:30 p.m. MWF 10:30 a.m. Exam Time
Regular Class Time 2-3:15 p.m. TR 1:30 p.m. Exam Time
Students defend SGA impact firstname.lastname@example.org
Final Exam Schedule Saturday Classes
Photo courtesy of Kalli Bubb/The News
May 4, 2017 | Vol. 91, No. 28
see SGA, page 2
Regular Class Time Wednesday Evening Night Exam Time
May 11 - Thursday Regular Class Time 8-9:15 a.m. TR and 4:30 p.m. MWF 8 a.m. Exam Time
Regular Class Time 10:30 a.m. MWF 10:30 a.m. Exam Time
Regular Class Time 1:30 p.m. MWF 1:30 p.m. Exam Time
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May 12 - Friday Regular Class Time 7:30 a.m. MWF and 3:30-4:45 p.m. TR 8 a.m. Exam Time
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Graduation Spring 2017
9 a.m. Saturday, May 13 CFSB Center
Kelli O’Toole/The News
Maple Street Market is set to offer the first meal-prep delivery service in Murray.
Attendees will be asked to park at Roy Stewart Stadium, east of the CFSB Center off of state Route 641. A shuttle bus will begin transporting guests from the parking lot to the CFSB Center at 7:30 a.m. The parking lot off of Gilbert Graves Drive will be available for guests with disability needs. Each individual guest must have a ticket to attend. Ticket printing for graduating seniors is available via My Murray State Tickets on myGate. The doors open at 8 a.m. for seating, all of which is general admission upon entering. Weapons, backpacks, signs, banners, noise-making devices and laser pointers are not allowed.
M S U
May 4, 2017
Turning public safety to a police department A look at the first year of Murray State Police Chief James Herring Destinee Marking Staff writer email@example.com
James Herring has nearly completed his first year as chief of Murray State Police and has made many changes to the department. Changes made in the last year include renaming of the department, a new website and new ways for the department to receive student feedback. In December, Public Safety and Emergency Management was approved to become the Murray State Police Department. Herring said this is important to him because he said he believes when people think of public safety on college campuses, they think of officers who do not have complete police authority, but the Murray State Police is a full-service police department. “When I came here I found a very professional staff of well-trained police officers, and I felt the name of the de-
partment needed to reflect that,” Herring said. A vital part of his job is to connect with and listen to students, Herring said, so he created the Murray State Police Student Advisory Council. “It allows unrepresented populations to have a voice,” Herring said. The Student Advisory Council consists of nine students. Herring said the initial council consisted of students who expressed interest in being involved, but for upcoming semesters, campus-wide forums will be held to choose members. Herring said the department’s new mission, vision and values statements were developed with input from the council in mind. Herring is also championing a program called Bridging the Gap. Herring said this program will consist of meetings in which exercises will be done that encourage participants to use eye contact, read non-verbal body language
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At the April 26 SGA meeting, the senate voted to pass amendments that change senate membership requirements; the grade point average requirement is now 2.0 as opposed to the previous 2.5. Tori Wood, SGA president, said she believes there is always room for improvement, but SGA depends on student input to know what changes to make. “I’m hopeful that if a student feels as if our work is inadequate or they want to see a change, they will come to us,” Wood said. Wood said SGA cannot represent the student body if students are not sharing concerns and opinions. “It is perfectly OK to see issues or challenges on campus,” Wood said. “They exist and should be addressed.”
container. “We found it’s really great for people working two jobs or is a busy mom or someone working third shift,” Tanner said. “There are not enough hours in a day to eat healthy or cook healthy because it does take a little more time so we try to facilitate that.” Tanner said she tries to use locally-grown goods such as fruits, vegetables and meats from the local farms and believes it is more nutritious to eat food grown from the area you live in. According to the Fitmeals Murray website, the core of the menu is fresh meats, vegetables, fruits, nuts, seeds, little starch and no sugar with a focus on lower sodium, lower fat and less heavy carbs. Maple Street Market also offers cooking classes twice a month for $20 that features a range of foods from pizza to sushi.
and listen to police. “Once that is done, facilitators guide conversations regarding relationships, perceptions and expectations involved in police community interaction,” Herring said. Herring said one of the things that stood out to him most this year was Murray State students. “I’ve really been impressed by the quality of the students here and the dedication they have to learning,” Herring said. A new website was created to match the new name of the department, as well as to be more user friendly and informative to students, faculty and staff. Herring said he wants the department to be transparent, so he wants departmental policies to be available on the website by next fall. Richard Mehlbauer, patrol sergeant, said he was apprehensive at first about a new chief of police, but Herring’s value of transparency stood out and put him at ease.
“From the get-go, he was very transparent,” Mehlbauer said. “That meant a lot.” Herring moved from North Carolina and he said he has learned a lot about Murray and the people since coming here. “Murray is great place,” Herring said. “I understand why people come here and don’t want to leave.” Overall, Herring said he feels confident about the work that was done this year and will continue to focus on building relationships with students. Roy Dunaway, captain of administration, said he cannot speak highly enough about Herring and what he has done to the department. Dunaway said among Herring’s stand-out qualities are his progressiveness and overall knowledge of his job. “His leadership skills, his management skills and his knowledge of university policing are unprecedented,” Dunaway said. “He is a genius.”
McKenna Dosier/The News
Herring finishes his first year as police chief for the Murray State Police Department.
Kelli O’Toole/The News
For those interested in Fitmeals, orders can be placed at FitmealsMurray.com. Tanner said although she has considered franchising and even has an offer to do so, she wants to stay local because she likes the idea of a small business because she can maintain a real quality. “We really want to work with
the community here in Murray and I’m really happy with it,” Tanner said. “I like knowing my customers and knowing what their needs are. Me staying small is a part of who we are.” She said her customers’ ages have a broad range, from high
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school students to her oldest customer, a 101-year-old woman who didn’t like the food in her nursing home. A customer, Diana Ross, said she orders four to seven Fitmeals every week to eat throughout the week and does
so because it is easy and quality nutritious food that helps her watch what she eats and lose weight. “It is cheaper and less time consuming than having to go out and buy all the ingredients I would need to make this meal,” Ross said. The director of development in the college of science, engineering and technology at Murray State and faithful customer, Jennie Rottinghaus, said she eats at Fitmeals for the convenience, the delicious options and to support the local farmers. Like Ross, Rottinghaus said she could not buy all of this and make it taste this good and have it be convenient. Regular size meals with 4 ounces of protein and sides costs $8 each. Large meals with 6 ounces of protein and sides cost $10 each, which are available for pick-up or delivery. Discounts are offered to Murray State students. For more information or to order call 270-681-5015 or visit their website at FitmealsMurray.com.
May 4, 2017
Murrayans offer hand-up
News Editor: Collin Morris Assistant Editor: Ashley Traylor Phone: 270-809-4468 Twitter: MurrayStateNews
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POLICE BEAT APRIL 26 10:31 a.m.
A caller requested a check of a person at Winslow Dining Hall. Officers were notified. The person was arrested for carrying a concealed weapon.
A person reported a harassment complaint to Murray State Police Department. Officers were notified. A report was taken for harassment.
APRIL 27 1:17 p.m.
Murray State Police Department received an attempt to locate in reference to people wanted for questioning in Graves County, Kentucky. Officers were notified.
A caller reported a possible stolen vehicle at Regents College. Officers were notified. The vehicle was located and no crime was committed.
APRIL 28 8:07 a.m.
The Murray State Police Department received a fax from the office of Institutional Diversity, Equity and Access in reference to a sexual assault that occurred off campus. Officers were notified.
Paige Effinger || Contributing writer
Katlin Walker has lived in Murray her whole life, driving by Murray State every day since she was a child, and now her time here will come full circle as she graduates this May. When she arrived at Murray State in Fall 2013, she became the first person in her family to attend a college or university. Walker grew up around the university, and as a child knew she wanted to attend college despite being the first in her family. Walker said her parents did not feel the need to go to college as there wasn’t as much demand for a degree as there is today. When it was time for her to start applying to colleges, Walker said her parents kept an open mind about her next step but encouraged her to pursue a degree. “They educated me on what they thought I
Officers were notified of a person intoxicated in public in the Quad. The person was arrested for public intoxication.
A caller reported the smell of marijuana at Lee Clark Residential College. Officers and the on-call residence director were notified.
APRIL 30 4:34 p.m.
A caller requested officers’ assistance with a non-paying customer at Winslow Dining Hall. Officers were notified. Assistance was provided and an information report was taken.
Photo courtesy of The Way of Wellness Facebook page
think kids deserve a chance and a safe home.” Ultimately, Lawrence said her faith drove her decision to start The Way of Wellness. She said the organization is not religious, but they are faith-based. Meeting the basic needs when no one else will is a picture of her faith. “That’s why we’re called the way of wellness: Jesus is the way,” Lawrence said. “Abundant life is wellness where you’re physically, mentally, spiritually, socially and financially well – not perfect, but sufficient.” Barbara Brittain, resident of Murray, is one of seven people on The Way of Wellness board. As a CPA, she said she brings a financial expertise to the board.
“I truly feel that this is a calling,” Brittain said. “I feel like this is what we’re supposed to be doing right now.” She said it was Lawrence’s brainchild, but when she heard about the opportunity to serve on the board, she knew this was where she needed to be. “Definitely we want to be helping these women who either have been abused, who are homeless or whatever, but the fact of the matter is the children are involved, and that’s what touches my heart,” Brittain said. “I want to help those mommas to be better mothers, and I want to help them to get a good start and to be able to take care of themselves so they can take care of their children.” She said they have had a yard sale and bake sale, and many people have donated furniture and their time to renovate the house. In the future they will be having another yard sale, a Mr. and Miss Freedom Fest competition, a 5K race and a gala dinner and auction. “There’s not many things that have really touched my heart in the way this has, and I feel it’s a chance for me to make a difference, maybe if it is just a little difference in someone’s life.” Brittain said. “I’m willing to do whatever I need to do.” Amanda Smith also serves on the board and helps with fundraising events. She said she helped with the decision-making involved in buying the property and with deciding what rules and expectations they will have for the residents. “I love that we will not only provide them with shelter, but with spiritual guidance and advice for healthy living,” Smith said. “They will be expected to work and maintain the facility. The children will go to school. It truly is a hand up, not a hand out.”
should do but knew that college is not meant for everyone,” Walker said. As Walker nervously attended her first classes, getting lost the first day of school and meeting so many new people her first semester, she said the hardest part was her parents not understanding or being able to give advice. “Freshman year brought many obstacles for me to overcome because my parents did not know what college life consisted of nor did they know how to answer my questions on Walker what I was struggling with in classes,” Walker said. She said she got most of the assistance she needed from her guidance counselors and other members of her sorority. She said she wouldn’t have gotten through it all without
them. Although it was not her parent’s decision to attend a university, Walker said her parent’s have been more than supportive in her journey through college. She said they have encouraged her every step of the way, and pushed her to keep striving. Being from Murray, Walker’s parents told her that if she wanted to attend college, Murray State was the only realistic option. “If I wanted to go to college, Murray State was the only opportunity that I had,” Walker said. “My parents said either you go to this college or your school wouldn’t be paid for.” Walker’s mom works at The Murray Bank and her dad works at Saputo here in Murray. As Walker will walk across the stage this month, she said her graduation will be a very special event for her family. Walker will be graduating this spring with a degree in financial planning and hopes to start graduate school at Murray in the spring.
Coding club strives for gender equity
A caller reported a hit-and-run motor vehicle collision at James H. Richmond Residential College parking lot. Officers were notified. The person did not request a police report at this time.
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The Murray Girls Who Code Club visited associate professor Robert Pilgrim’s class on May 1 to meet computer science students and to cultivate their interest in technology. Middle school girls in the club observed a computer graphics and game programming class in which teams of college students build games. Girls Who Code is a national nonprofit that seeks to close the gender gap in the technology field. They have clubs and summer immersion programs for girls to learn more about coding. Pilgrim said 25 percent of students in his classes are women, and he said there should be more gender equity in the technologies. “The technologies, and computer science in particular, have a hard time drawing women into the major,” Pilgrim said. “I’m not sure why, because they always end up being in the top of their class.” Ginny Kelley, web coordinator at Murray State’s Kentucky Academy of Technology Education, is the facilitator of the Girls Who Code program. She graduated from Murray State in 2004 with degrees in math and computer science.
A caller reported a theft of property at Faculty Hall. Officers were notified. A criminal report was taken for theft by unlawful taking less than $500.
An officer served a person a criminal summons for failure to notify owner of unattended vehicle damage. A supplement report was taken.
MAY 2 10:46 a.m.
An officer conducted a traffic stop at Five Points. A citation was issued for failure to wear a seat belt. A verbal warning was issued for an expired registration.
A caller reported the smell of marijuana at Hart Residential College. Officers and Murray State Housing were notified. A report was taken for possession of marijuana and drug paraphernalia. The incident was referred to Student Affairs and Murray State Housing for disciplinary action.
Kelley started Calloway County’s arm of Girls Who Code last year. Since the club’s formation, six to 10 girls have been involved each year, and one boy last year. It is free and open to students in sixth through 12th grade from any school in the area. She said most of her students are in middle school at Calloway County Middle School, Murray Middle School and Eastwood Christian Academy. They meet for two hours a week with the goal of completing 40 hours of curriculum that teaches four fundamentals of computer science: variables, loops, conditionals and functions. Kelley said they typically meet in Alexander Hall on campus, but they also take field trips. She said a few weeks ago, they visited the 3D printing labs on campus. “Getting them started at middle school age helps them to remember that this is an option,” Kelley said. “Maybe they’ll come back in high school or college and continue to stay in coding.” In addition to the coding curriculum, Kelley said they do some bonding and sisterhood activities to get to know each other and to meet other role model women in science, technology, engineering and math fields. “You can’t be what you can’t see,” Kelley said. Kiera Taylor, seventh grader, and Isolde
Photo courtesy of Wikimedia Commons
Menchinger, sixth grader, are involved in Girls Who Code and go to Murray Middle School. The girls agreed they like the way the program is targeted toward girls. Taylor said in her two years at Girls Who Code, she learned teamwork is the key. “I like that women are going into these fields,” Taylor said. “I encourage all those girls out there to be who they want to be and do what they want to do.” Menchinger started this year. She said she learned how to code for the first time ever and made more friendships “It’s pretty cool,” Menchinger said. “I know women are capable of doing what men do, we’ve just been stuck in a stereotype that’s hard to break out of, but we’re doing it.”
WATERFIELD LIBRARY HOURS 1 0 2
Ashley Traylor, Assistant News Editor, compiles Police Beat with materials provided by Public Safety and Emergency Management. Not all dispatched calls are listed.
Murray resident Traci Lawrence is opening a residential mentoring facility in June for women and children called The Way of Wellness with her years of experience and passion in nonprofits organizations. The facility will serve those who are homeless or victims of domestic violence in Calloway County and target five areas of wellness: physical, mental, spiritual, social and financial. “We chose the title of a mentoring facility instead of a shelter because sometimes when you think of shelter, you think of victimization,” Lawrence said. “We don’t want these women and children to live in that identity that they are victims. We want to help them rise up out of that.” The Way of Wellness will provide safe housing, food, clothes, transportation and counseling for clients, while they either work, go to school or volunteer in the community. Up to 12 clients can be served at a time. Lawrence said she is in the process of building a staff. A counselor, case manager and a support staff will be available to help transport, help with parenting, cooking, cleaning and teaching life skills. Lawrence said clients can stay for up to nine months and will work with staff members to set personal goals. When clients first come, they set three goals and meet with staff every two weeks to assess if they have met those goals. She said the staff wants to help identify roadblocks and also celebrate victory. “It’s just to hold them accountable and to know that they have somebody on their
team,” Lawrence said. She heard about a friend suffering abuse when she was around 8 years old, and from this story, Lawrence said a passion was ignited within her to serve women and children facing hardship. Since starting the Lighthouse Children’s Home in Mayfield, Kentucky, in 1999, Lawrence said her concern for children has grown. She said while the children are at The Way of Wellness, they have a safe place, food to eat, encouragement, love and hope. “There’s nothing worse to me than child abuse. What did a little 3-year-old kid do to get beaten or burned?” Lawrence said. “I
First generation college student walks the line
Officers conducted a traffic stop on Rushing Way and Alumni Center. A verbal warning was issued for blocking the roadway.
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When a show like “13 Reasons Why” makes such a large impact in the news and pop culture scene, it is practically impossible to avoid. The last show in recent memory which stirred viewers as much as “13 Reasons Why” was “Orange Is The New Black.” The public response isn’t as positive this time around. Many experts and avid Netflix bingers have raised quite a stink over what many consider to be an irresponsible portrayal of teenage bullying and suicide. Others argue it’s simply there for entertainment – after all, media is a form of artistic expression, and we’re all afforded the constitutional right to express ourselves however we see fit. Elizabeth Wagmeister of Variety magazine said “13 Reasons Why” has garnered more than 11 million tweets since its release on March 30; this makes the show the most tweeted about program of 2017. That’s an awful lot of critical eyes quick to pounce on any mistake. But no matter your take on the show’s approach, one thing is clear: the sensationalization surrounding “13 Reasons Why”
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vania State University, “More than half of students visiting campus clinics site anxiety as a health concern.” The survey had 100,000 student participants. This means there are more people out there struggling with these difficult emotions than we ever thought. When even our university has days for therapy animals to visit overwhelmed students on campus, it is hard to ignore the elephant in the room. The struggle is all too real, and knowing you are not alone in dealing with these issues is an important first step to working through them. Open dialogue and discussion about these often unacknowledged afflictions will lead to renewed ways of thinking about mental health, especially as it affects the youth and young adults of our country. Sensationalized media such as this should not be taken simply at face value. When something ruffles this many feathers, there’s an underlying issue that needs addressed. “13 Reasons Why” doesn’t get everything right, but it never really needed to.
Finding higher ground
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has generated an astonishing amount of dialogue about bullying, anxiety and depression, pushing the issue into the national spotlight. Facebook is blowing up with posts, some garnering hundreds or thousands of comments, from viewers either commending or vilifying the show – of course, the obligatory “why would you watch this” commentators are in full force, but these passive individuals are a minority this time around. Something about “13 Reasons Why” has brought people of various backgrounds and cultures together to discuss how bullying, anxiety and suicide should be handled in our modern world. And this is perhaps the single greatest accomplishment, for all its faults, “13 Reasons Why” achieves. Mental health is a topic often relegated to psychology classrooms and PSAs, but this show has thrust this conversation directly into the forefront of American pop culture. Anxiety and depression are becoming increasingly common among college students. According to a report by Pennsyl-
Tyler Anderson Opinion Editor firstname.lastname@example.org Spring is in full swing. That means warmer temperatures, budding greenery… and a flooded campus. Those of us that haven’t invested in a quality pair of rainboots are all too familiar with the sinking feeling that accompanies a rainy forecast for a day on university grounds. April showers have brought us a lot more than May flowers – any rain, actually, turns the Quad into a nearly serviceable swimming pool. Low and cracked walkways across campus are nearly constantly washed out during the wetter months. Areas void of greenery are constantly muddied and are, honestly, an eyesore. And don’t even get me started on traversing the soggy, cigarette butt-covered parking lots after a good rain. I’m not the only one who has noticed this; I’ve taken too many Faculty Hall elevator rides with other disgruntled students to think mine is an isolated opinion. So with tuition increases practically par for the course at this point, why are so little of these funds being used for necessary up-
keep on campus? I will admit, as a Bowling Green native and prior Western Kentucky University student, I may have been spoiled by a nearly immaculate campus (except, of course, during the frequent construction periods). I am aware Western Kentucky has
Library recently received a facelift. And while it’s a busy part of campus, it is arguably not the area that needed the most help. As a student body, we should be asking ourselves one important question: how do we make sure our tuition is spent with the well-being and
April showers have brought us a lot more than May flowers...
more funds at its disposal for such issues. But this doesn’t detract from the fact these are glaring problems that reflect negatively on the legacy of Murray State. I would hate to have visitors to the university on a rainy day. The walkway in front of Waterfield
quality of life of students and faculty in mind? My suggestion: be vocal. I myself spend an astonishingly large amount of time talking about these issues among my friends, but very little making sure my opinion is heard by university officials.
University President Bob Davies is always out and about, eager to greet students on their way to class. We should be using this to our advantage – don’t hesitate to engage in discussions concerning what you think is going right or wrong on campus. Our Student Government Association should also be a go-to source when we have suggestions on how to improve campus life. The individuals who make up SGA are our peers, and they know better than anyone how and what we think. The influence our student government has should not be underestimated. And don’t forget about an important gear in the college machine – donors. These individuals donate their time and money to Murray State, and when they see unsatisfied students, they begin to doubt their funds are being utilized in the best way possible. So don’t let a trek through the Murray State marsh get you down – demand more out of your university. We are here to be educated by the best. But growing gills to get across campus shouldn’t be on the syllabus.
Tyler Anderson Opinion Editor
Dylan Doyle Junior from Marion, KY
John Muenzberg Lecturer of philosophy
Robert Valentine Senior lecturer of advertising
Rachel Wood Junior from Birmingham, AL
May 4, 2017
Other people’s babies Wilders, it is logical to assume King meant our civilization is for white Christians, and so we need more white and Christian children. Many people, including other Republicans, condemned King’s comments because they run counter to the ideals of the U.S. as a society based on rights and freedoms, not ethnicity. This criticism is true, but it will not convince a white nationalist who thinks U.S. citizenship should be based on ethnicity. What might change their mind is that even from a white nationalist standpoint, King’s tweet is not factually accurate. The truth is we can build our civilization on other people’s babies. Civilizations and empires have been doing this for centuries. When nationalists refer to “western civilization,” they are usually referring to the prod-
John Muenzberg Contributing writer email@example.com Last week, a group of white nationalists held a demonstration in Pikeville, Kentucky. While it can be disturbing to have such events happen, the counter-protesters outnumbered the demonstrators in a strong display of resistance to a dangerous way of thinking. What is more unsettling is when similar ideas come from people in power, such as Rep. Steve King, R-Iowa. King praised Dutch candidate Geert Wilders, a far-right nationalist. Wilders has criticized immigration into Europe because many of the immigrants are non-white and non-Christian. King praised Wilders’ position by tweeting: “Demographics are our destiny. We can’t restore our civilization with other people’s babies.” Since King was praising
uct of three ancient forces: democracy from the ancient Greeks, citizenship and civil life from the ancient Romans and cultural ideas from Christianity. All of these forces relied on other people’s babies. Ancient Greek city-states
as to when they went to battle. Their ingenious compromise was to guarantee men who fought for the city-state a voice in the assembly. They called this democracy. If you fight for the state, you get a voice in the state.
“We are literally defending our country with people who were other people’s babies.” were generally small, and it was difficult to field an army to defend them. They needed every available man to march on the battlefield. Understandably, the men who marched into battle also wanted a say
This is still done today. About 10 percent of all persons serving in the U.S. armed forces are immigrants – about 4 percent are not even citizens. They do this as a way to gain citizenship. We are literally
defending our country with people who were other people’s babies. Ancient Roman society is the origin of numerous aspects of western civil society. The Roman Empire fought and conquered many peoples, but they had an innovative way to bring about peace. Subjugating people requires resources. The Romans found it more efficient to offer the conquered status and rights in the growing empire. These people became such an important part of the empire that by 200 C.E. very few Roman emperors were actually born in Italy. They were from places that included modern Serbia, France, Spain and Libya. The Roman Empire built their civilization using other people’s babies. As any devout Christian knows, the way Christianity has grown and moved through-
out the world is through missionary work and conversion. The growth of Christianity is based on the idea that one can, no matter one’s origins or prior beliefs, choose to become Christian and convert. One is not born Christian. One chooses to become Christian through baptism. This is why Christianity has taken hold in every society and culture. Christianity grew to include people from every part of the globe through other people’s babies. Contrary to the beliefs of these white nationalists, you can build your civilization on other people’s babies. History shows this is one of the most effective ways to do it. The U.S. has been very successful at this in the past. We have been welcoming other people’s babies into our culture for hundreds of years – and a few new immigrants will not change this.
Cheers to ... You guys!
The Murray State News wouldn’t be possible without the campus community. As a university newspaper, The News aims to be a reputable source of information you can’t get anywhere else. To our contributors, our readers and everyone in between, thank you for making this possible.
Jeers to ... Cold snaps We all know Kentucky weather can be unpredictable, but things are getting out of control. As if finals weren’t enough torture, these seesawing temperatures are a major buzzkill. Everyone is gearing up for summer - it doesn’t look like Mother Nature got the memo, though.
Cheers & Jeers is written by The Murray State News’ Opinion Editor. Questions, comments or concerns should be addressed to firstname.lastname@example.org Making Headway
What ‘13 Reasons Why’ gets right Dylan Doyle Contributing writer email@example.com When Netflix rolls out a new original show, the praise (or hate) is usually universal, but “13 Reasons Why” has faced mixed buzz since its release. Your social media is undoubtedly teeming with Odyssey Online posts and poorly-researched articles on both sides of the issue, but almost all of these miss the show’s biggest problems and ignore its selling points. Spoilers to follow. Let us get something straight: “13 Reasons Why” is not a show about mental illness, at least not in a clinical psychology sort of way. According to an article by Serena Smith of TheTab.com, series protagonist Hannah Baker would not have committed suicide if she were a real person because Hannah is not mentally ill. The writer goes on to claim that “suicide is caused by mental illness, not bullying.” This is reductive at best, but it illustrates something I have read mul-
tiple times about the characterization of Hannah – viewers seem to believe Hannah died as a result of innocent high school teasing. This idea is probably born of people quitting the show early, as events in the final episodes clearly depict the cause of Hannah’s death. Even if teenage bullying did not ever lead to suicide (it does) and Hannah did not exhibit textbook symptoms of several mental illnesses (she does), the main reason she ended her own life is not being discussed by popular criticism of the show. Her circumstances take their toll, but it is trauma that pushes her over the edge. The cassette tape motif is campy, yes – but teenagers so often are. The show asks you to suspend your disbelief too often. But it is definitely not a show about an overdramatic teenager killing herself because of meaningless high school nonsense. Spoiler: Hannah witnesses a friend being assaulted by a classmate and later suffers rape by the same man. Estimates suggest as many as one
in three rape survivors experience major depressive disorder following the assault, and almost all (94 percent) of them suffer post-traumatic stress disorder. Even if Hannah Baker was not mentally ill before her assault, studies show she likely would have been afterwards. “13 Reasons Why” is a realistic (perhaps too realistic) representation of teenage rape and the emotional fallout that comes with it – but where the show really shines is in its depiction of school administrators and their handling of sexual assault. The final tape is directed at Mr. Porter, the school guidance counselor. Porter told Hannah’s parents and other school administrators (and the viewers) all along that he was completely unaware of Hannah’s mental state – an egregious lie, considering she admitted almost everything to him in a session shortly before her death. He fails to help a student in desperate need of counsel, which is his job, and she dies as a result. Of course, Porter is quick to re-
mind us suicide is not murder: when protagonist Clay confronts him about his hamfisted attempt to help to Hannah, he deflects blame away from himself by claiming that it is impossible to love someone out of suicide. In one of the series’ most misunderstood and decontextualized quotes, Clay responds with “You can try.” Can you love someone’s suicidal ideation away? Of course not, but you can try to offer them assistance, and Porter fails in this regard. Too many guidance counselors are cut from the same cloth as the fictional Porter, and “13 Reasons Why” deserves credit for openly placing the blame on inept adults with communications degrees trying to pass for mental health professionals. There are many valid critiques of the show out there, and those issues deserve attention, but it is not fair to say Hannah Baker would not have committed suicide in real life – unfortunately, many young girls in Hannah’s position do just that. The way we talk about this show has to get better, too.
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May 4, 2017
Sports Editor: Bryan Edwards Assistant Sports Editor: Blake Sandlin Page Designer: Michelle Blanchette Phone: 270-809-4481 Twitter: MSUSportsNews
Senior pitcher repeats perfect performance Bryan Edwards Sports Editor
Kelli O’Toole/The News
Senior pitcher Mason Robinson pitches her second perfect game in two weeks against Eastern Illinois.
Senior pitcher Mason Robinson has had two weeks she will never forget. Although the Murray State softball team has only played four of its scheduled 10 games over the last two weekends, Robinson has won three of those games, while not allowing a hit from the opposing team in two. Robinson pitched Murray State’s first-ever perfect game in an 8-0 victory over Belmont on April 23. One week later, she led the Racers in another perfect game in an 8-0 victory over Eastern Illinois. Robinson pitched six innings and had a season-high seven strikeouts against the Panthers. With another perfect game under her belt, Robinson has continued her season of record-breaking performances. She has broken the single-season and all-time wins record, appeared and started in more games than any other pitcher in program history, pitched the only two perfect games in softball history and tied the no-hitter
record at Murray State. Head Coach Kara Amundson said Robinson has placed her pitches well and attacked the strike zone in her last few outings. “When she is attacking the zone, she gets a lot of ground balls and lets the defense work behind her,” Amundson said. “I think her mindset has been big. She doesn’t believe that she has to do it on her own and lets the defense work behind her, and it’s been really fun to watch.” Although the perfect game from Robinson was the highlight, the game would not have been won if it wasn’t for the eight runs scored in the Racers’ favor. The middle of the batting order produced three home runs for Murray State. Senior infielder Jessica Twaddle, senior catcher Jocelynn Rodgers and senior infielder Maggie Glass provided the offensive spark the Racers needed to give Robinson some cushion in the circle. Amundson said the team has bounced back from a mid-season slump. “These players across the board are really focused, and they know what they are capable of doing,” Amund-
son said. “In practice we are working on situational things where we need players on base and we need people to score them.” Amundson also said the batters have been selfless and playing for the team rather than for themselves. “The team has really bought into that,” Amundson said. “We’ve got all the talent in the world and we’re getting into a place where we want to be getting into the last weekend of the season.” The win for the Racers moves them to 34-14 on the year and are currently riding a six-game winning streak. Amundson said the team has refocused down the stretch and are getting to where they need to be mentally. “We had the best start in program history and I think we settled in when we shouldn’t have,” Amundson said. “We needed to get back to playing hard and be focused again in every aspect which is what we need to win games and championships.” The Racers will close the regular season starting at noon Saturday, May 6 against Austin Peay in Clarksville, Tennessee.
Racer alumna runs for ‘love’ of country Blake Sandlin
Assistant Sports Editor firstname.lastname@example.org
After three years of waiting, training and rejection, former Murray State sprinter Alexis Love received the opportunity of a lifetime. On April 18, Love received a call from Team USA’s track and field team inviting her to join the team. “It’s like I was hearing the words, but I’m like ‘OK, this can’t be real,’” Love said. “When I got the call, it was like waiting for Christmas to come.” Last weekend, Love competed at the Penn Relays in Philadelphia, the largest track and field competition in the United States. More than 47,000 people watched as she participated in the “USA vs. The World” event, competing against Jamaican athletes as the anchor leg in the 4x100-meter relay. Love earned third place for the United States. Love’s performance came at a time when she was in the midst of transitioning multiple aspects of her professional career. Just three weeks ago, Love decided to part ways with her coach of three years, Dennis Mitch-
ell, forcing her to change her training and strength programs altogether. Combine that with working a full-time job, Love said it was difficult balancing work with her career. “For three years I’ve been working either full time or part time just to find my track career,” Love said. “That’s why this past weekend was so big for me, because it’s been hard.” Love said while she doesn’t take her past experiences for granted, the pride and nationalism that comes with representing one’s country was insurmountable. “It was an honor for me to represent Murray State and you know, go to Nationals, but when I actually put on ‘USA,’ it’s just a different feeling,” Love said. “It’s like I have the country behind my back.” While Love is having her moment in the spotlight, her journey to the top has been plagued with adversity. Her journey to compete for the United States began her junior year at Murray State when she qualified and competed in the Olympic Trials. Love’s journey to the 2012 London Olympic Games fell short in Eugene, Oregon,
ALEXIS LOVE Event
200m 400m Ind. 4x100m
Graphic courtesy of Austin Gordon/The News
however, when she failed to qualify in the 100-meter dash. Despite the setback, Love’s passion for the sport wouldn’t be deterred. After graduating in 2013, Love moved to Dallas, Texas, to train for a year. She relocated to Florida to continue training part time. Love spent the next three years training to compete in the 2016 Olympic Trials. She qualified to compete in the 100-meter and 200-meter on her quest for Olympic glory. “I was thinking ‘Here I am, I’m older, I’m not in college anymore, I don’t have classes anymore, I only have practice and I work part time so I know I’ll get it this time around’,” Love said. Despite her confidence, Love fell short for the second time. Even through disappointment, Love learned a valuable lesson from the journey. “It was definitely a learning experience, and it definitely made me more hungry,” Love said. “I’ll be honest, at first I was a little down, saying ‘Dang it, this is my second time around, I really wanted to go to Rio’, but then I realized in track and field I’m still young, so I’m definitely looking forward to 2020, which will be in Tokyo.” Love has remained resilient on her mission, maintaining that same hunger she employed in her career as a Racer. So when Love received the call to head to the Penn Relays as part of Team USA, she jumped at the opportunity. “I walked back into my room and just started crying and was like this is really happening,” Love said. “It’s one of those things like you hear it, but then you’re like wait is Team USA really calling for me?” Track and field Head Coach Jenny Swieton coached Love while she was at Murray State. Swieton said
Photo courtesy of Murray State University
Alexis Love competes for the U.S. National team in hope of qualifying for the 2020 Olympics. Love’s perseverance serves as an inspiration to her student-athletes. “It’s been awhile since she was in the trials, four years since she graduated, but she just didn’t give up and she kept fighting and now it’s finally paying off,” Swieton said. “I think she’s so relatable now because she has like a little bit of a slump and now she’s coming back out of it, and she just shows people not to give up.” Swieton said Love’s track record can benefit Murray State’s program on the recruiting trail. She said many players believe they have to attend a larger, Power Five conference in order to make it professionally, but Love’s story serves as a testimony that anything is possible for those who put in the work. “They see the Power Five schools, and they think you have to go to one of those schools to be big time or be
super successful and that’s just not true,” Swieton said. “I think she just kind of showed people that regardless of what type of school you want to attend or you decide to go to, you can be successful no matter where it is.” Four years after graduating, Love said she is indebted to the university and to Swieton for the impact she has had in teaching her to push past her boundaries. “Years later, I am so thankful to God that I chose Murray State,” Love said. “At first I was not sure, but when she came in, she just made a huge impact on my life and she pushed me past the limit.” Love is looking ahead to the next phase of her career and isn’t putting any limitation on what she can achieve. “I’m not going to lie, I’m shooting to be the fastest woman in the world,” Love
said. “When I speak to kids at elementary schools and I mentor these young females I always tell them ‘Look, whatever you do don’t just do it, try to be the best at it.’ If I’m going to really do this track thing and make it work I want to be the fastest woman in the world.” As Love prepares to train to compete in the biennial IAAF World Championships in London later in the year, she reflected back on her track and field campaign and the resiliency it took to get where she is today. “It’s definitely been a journey, and with track, you definitely have to be determined and be committed and just really have a passion for it because three years is a long time,” Love said. “And just knowing deep down that I was going to make the team one day is what kept me going and kept me motivated.”
May 4, 2017
Racers take two wins from Belmont Kelly Diesel Staff writer
Murray State’s baseball team moved to .500 after taking two out of three games against Belmont last weekend. Head Coach Kevin Moulder said he was satisfied with the team over the weekend. “We played fairly well playing on the road,” Moulder said. “To get two out of three against a quality team like Belmont is a good accomplishment.”
Kelli O’Toole/The News
Senior pitcher John Lollar shows off his signature leg pitch during a game.
The Racers won big on Friday by a final score of 16-4. Senior pitcher Ryan Dills got the start for the Racers in Friday’s game. Dills came into game one 2-2 with 57.2 innings pitched, an ERA of 5.77 and 61 strikeouts. The Bruins got on the board first, with senior infielder Tyler Walsh hitting a sacrifice fly to left field, scoring freshman outfielder Matt Cogen in the bottom of the second inning. The Racers responded with three runs of their own in the top of the third inning, starting with an RBI single to center field from senior outfielder Adam Bauer, tying the game 1-1. Later in the third, senior first baseman Jack Hranec hit
an RBI single to center field, scoring Bauer from second. Freshman infielder Davis Sims reached on an error that scored junior outfielder Brandon Gutzler and gave Murray State a 3-1 lead. In the bottom of the third, Belmont’s senior catcher Clay Payne hit a solo home run to left center field, making it a 3-2 game. The Bruins tied the game at 3-3 with an RBI double from sophomore infielder Chas Hadden. Murray State took control in the top of the fourth inning with a solo home run from freshman outfielder Ryan Perkins and a sacrifice fly to left field from Bauer. In the fifth inning, the Racers scored six runs off RBIs from senior catcher Tyler Lawrence, sophomore infielder Jaron Robinson, Gutzler and Bauer. Murray State scored one more run in the seventh and four more in the eighth to take a 16-4 victory.
Murray State came away with a 6-4 win in extra innings in what was its second meeting with the Bruins. Lawrence started the scoring for the Racers in the first inning with an RBI single to left field. Later in the inning, Sims reached on a fielder’s choice that scored Bauer and put Murray State up 2-0. A solo home run from Gut-
Assistant Sports Editor
From tailgating to fat-suit battles, and a lot of football in between, Murray State football hosted its 2017 spring game on Friday. Dubbed the “Fastest Friday in Kentucky,” the Racers’ football team competed in fast-paced action and hosted activities for fans as part of their final showing for the spring season. “Everybody always asks why we call it the fastest Friday in Kentucky,” Head Coach Mitch Stewart said. “We just ran 98 plays in the span of an hour and 42 minutes, plus did special teams, plus did all of the games for the fans and the Greek organizations.” The Racers separated into blue and white teams to showcase a variety of sets and lineups. The defense came away with a 71-57 victory after receiving points from a variety of different drills and kicking competitions. Stewart encouraged Murray State students to come out in big numbers to pack the arena on Friday. For an added incentive, the program allowed students and Greek organizations to tailgate inside of Roy Stewart Stadium, an idea that Aaron Martin, freshman from Benton, Kentucky, said helped get more fans involved.
“You know a lot of times we’re stuck outside of the stadium if we’re tailgating and it’s harder to get guys to come out,” Martin said. “If we’re allowed to start earlier and we have different competitions and stuff that we have going on throughout the day, then it encourages a lot more people to come out and have a good time.” Stewart said having the support of the students made for a successful and entertaining spring game, not just for the program, but for him. “Hats off to those guys. I mean they were awesome today,” Stewart said. “I mean we dressed them up in fat suits and let them run into each other. It was a heck of a time. I had a good time. I don’t know if anyone else did – don’t really care – because I had a blast.” As the team wraps up its spring football season, Stewart commended his team on making big strides. The most important, he said, was less emphasis on specific sets and plays and more on the team’s overall fundamentals. “We held back on the schemes and held back on the install and really got good at fundamentals,” Stewart said. “I think that’s the biggest thing I’m happy about is just the improvement we had over the spring.” The team is still adjusting
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The Racers lost game three to the Bruins by a final score of 14-4 on Sunday. Moulder said the loss on Sunday is just how it goes sometimes. “That’s baseball,” Moulder said. “Our pitching wasn’t great and I think we came out a little flat and they jumped us. That’s just how it is.” Junior infielder Rafael Bournigal started the scoring for Belmont with a solo home run to left center field in the first inning. Junior infielder Ben Kocher added a run with a two-run RBI single to left field to put Bel-
mont on top 3-0. Belmont continued its scoring in the second inning by scoring five runs, starting with Cogen getting hit by a pitch with the bases loaded. A wild pitch scored another run, followed by a three-run RBI double to left field from Kocher. The Racers got on the board in the third inning with a solo home run from senior outfielder Aaron Bence, making it an 8-1 game. Belmont added three more runs in the fourth inning with RBIs from junior infielder Kyle Conger, junior outfielder Cully Day and Cogen. Sims scored a solo home run to left field in the sixth inning for the Racers, cutting the lead to nine points. In the bottom of the sixth inning, Day doubled to left field scoring Conger. The Racers scored two more runs in the seventh inning with RBIs from Hranec and Sims, but the Bruins responded with two runs of their own in the bottom of the seventh thanks to a tworun RBI double from Kocher. The Bruins won by a final score of 14-4. The Racers’ next test will come when they take the field at 6 p.m. on Friday, May 5 at Reagan Field in a matchup against Eastern Kentucky.
Racers finish fast to close regular season
Football closes spring season
zler in the third, and an RBI single from junior infielder Caleb Hicks in the fourth inning gave the Racers a 4-0 lead. In the fifth inning, Belmont got on the board with an RBI single down the left field line from senior catcher Nick Egli that scored two runs. The Bruins added two more runs in the sixth inning with an RBI single to left field from junior infielder Rafael Bournigal, tying the game 4-4. Tied after 11 innings, Murray State took a 6-4 lead off an RBI single to center field from Perkins in the top of the 12th. The Racers held onto its two-run lead and took game two of the three-game series.
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Jenny Rohl/The News
Redshirt freshman Sylvaughn Turner carries the ball during the spring scrimmage. to life without quarterback K.D. Humphries, who graduated last year. From redshirt senior quarterback Cameron Birse to freshman quarterback, Preston Rice, the Racers have a lot of depth to help fill Humphries’ void, but Stewart said he is still undecided on who will secure the starting position. “I’ve got the best five [quarterbacks] collectively since I’ve ever been here,” Stewart said. “All of them can go out there and they’re not going to lose you a game. The trick to it is that I’ve got to find the one. I’ve got to find the one that’s consistent on a day-today basis, on a practice basis, and I’ve got to find the one that can win you the game.” On the other side of the
ball, the Racers are sure to make big strides on the defensive end after graduating only three rotation players last year. New pickups from junior defensive backs Rico McGraw and Kenney Wooten have the Racers revitalized not only on the field, but off it, too. “This defense has made tremendous strides,” senior linebacker Lamont Crittendon said. “As far as the chemistry, like not even the Xs and Os, we’re definitely working together. We’re returning pretty much everybody, and then we added people like Kenney Wooten, who makes a big difference on our defense.” The Racers have yet to announce their schedule and will resume play in the fall.
Murray State track and field notched several first-place finishes last weekend in the final meet before heading to the OVC Outdoor Championships. The Racers competed in the two-day Memphis Tiger Invitational among teams like Austin Peay, Memphis and Southeast Missouri State. Sophomore hurdler Jabreuna Brimlett was one of the bright spots for the Racers recording a first-place finish out of 22 runners in the 100-meter hurdles with a time of 13.45 seconds. Track and field Head Coach Jenny Swieton said Brimlett had a monumental performance. “She put herself in the top 25 in the East in 100 hurdles with a pretty good PR,” Swieton said. “Then she also moved way up the OVC list in the long jump and the triple jump so that was really really good to lead into OVC.” Freshman middle distance runner Mason Swenson’s time of 11 minutes, 31.83 seconds was enough to earn a first-place finish in the 3000-meter steeplechase out of seven total competitors. Swenson’s victory was the first of her collegiate career. Sophomore sprinter Tamdra Lawrence recorded a second place finish out of 41 runners with her performance in the 100-meter dash, finishing in 11.54 seconds. Lawrence went on to achieve another top-three finish after recording second place out of 37 runners in the 200-meter dash. She was followed by freshman sprinter Norma Abdur-Rafia,
who ran the event in 24.23 seconds to earn third place. The 800-meter had Murray State runners securing several notable finishes. Graduate student middle distance runner Ali Hester ran the event in 2 minutes, 18.53 seconds to claim fourth place out of 34 runners. Hester also racked up a fourth place finish out of 33 competitors in the 1500-meter with a time of 4 minutes, 44.05 seconds. The relay team, made up of junior hurdler Taylor McCammon, sophomore sprinter Jocelyn Payne, Abdur-Rafia and Lawrence, continued their recent success, beating out seven other teams to win the 4x100 meter. Swieton said achieving several top finishes in Memphis over the weekend certainly helps with her team’s confidence. “To be able to walk away from the meet doing something they’ve never done before, I mean their confidence is at a perfect point going into OVC right now,” Swieton said. As the team transitions out of their regular season, a new challenge awaits. The Racers have two weeks off before competing in the OVC Championships, and Swieton said she is preaching a team-first mindset throughout. “We just really are telling the team they just need to focus on controlling what they can control and doing the best they can for themselves,” Swieton said. “We can’t control anybody else; we can only control ourselves.” Last weekend’s meet served as the Racers’ final tune-up meet before they compete on May 11 in Oxford, Alabama at the OVC Outdoor Championships.
ENJOY YOUR SUMMER!
2016-2017 YEAR IN REVIEW
The News May 4, 2017
Jenny Rohl/The News
Men’s cross country team finished seasonhigh fifth @ Belmont.
Women’s cross country finished season-high fourth @ Austin Peay.
Football defeated No. 15 Eastern Illinois 40-38.
Soccer finished OVC play undefeated following 0-0 tie against Austin Peay
Football defeated No. 25 Tennessee State 3831.
Junior guard Jonathan Stark hit a gamewinning 3-pointer to defeat Illinois State 73-70.
Senior outside hitter Scottie Ingram became first volleyball player to have her jersey retired at Murray State.
Volleyball defeats SIUE in five sets to win OVC Tournament.
Kelli O’Toole/The News
Chalice Keith/The News
SPRING 2017 Jenny Rohl/The News
Jenny Rohl/The News
Kelli O’Toole/The News
Track and field posted second-place finish in Southern Illinois University Carbondale meet.
Rifle won OVC Tournament, qualified for NCAA Tournament.
Baseball defeated No. 13 Louisiana Lafayette 2-0.
Baseball defeated no. 36 Southeastern Louisiana 3-1.
Track and field finished sixth in OVC Indoor Championship.
Stark scored 41 points and hits game-winning shot to help the Racers advance in the OVC Tournament past Tennessee Tech.
Rifle finished in third place in the NCAA Championship.
Chalice Keith/The News
Kelli O’Toole/The News
March 16 Softball defeated Bryant 2-0, marking 12th consecutive win of the season. March 29 Athletic Director Allen Ward named Rechelle Turner the new head coach of the women’s basketball team. April 11
Men’s golf posted season-high third-place finish at the Big Blue Invitational in Nashville, Tennessee.
Tennis defeated Eastern Kentucky 4-3 to qualify for the OVC Tournament.
Women’s golf posted OVC Tournament record score to qualify for the NCAA Tournament.
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Senior pitcher Mason Robinson became first pitcher in Murray State softball history to pitch a perfect game.
Robinson pitched a second perfect game in an 8-0 victory over Eastern Illinois.
Murray State women’s golf will compete in the NCAA Tournament in Lubbock, Texas.
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Chalice Keith/The News
May 4, 2017
Features Editor: Emily Williams Assistant Features Editor: Nick Erickson Page Designer: Dasha Tuck Phone: 270-809-5871 Twitter: MSUNewsFeatures
Local hero comes home
W. Earl Brown returns to Robert E. Johnson Theatre
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Cast members of “Cat on a Hot Tin Roof” singing to “Big Daddy” during the performance last week. Emily Williams Features Editor
W. Earl Brown, American actor and alumnus of Murray State’s Theatre Department, made his way back home to Robert E. Johnson Theatre this past weekend to play “Big Daddy” in the production of “Cat on a Hot Tin Roof.” Brown, best known for his roles in films and TV series such as Deadwood, Scream, There’s Something About Mary and Black Mass, said a return to Murray State was something he and chairman of the Theatre Department, David Balthrop, had been hoping to plan for a while. “My schedule changes constantly,” Brown said. “But everything has worked out perfectly. It was kind of kismet with everything lining up so I was able to get here.” “Cat on a Hot Tin Roof,” written by Tennessee Williams, won the Pulitzer Prize for Drama in 1955. Lissa Graham, director of Murray State’s production of the play, said they chose it about a year ago and then “hit the ground running.” “W. Earl Brown is why we chose this play,” Graham said. “He’s a local hero. I mean, he’s well known in Hollywood. He is a major veteran of television and film.”
Graham said the entire production has been a great experience for the Theatre Department. “We really appreciate Earl,” Graham said. “We love Earl. We think he’s wonderful. We appreciate the time he’s put into this, the effort he has put into this. He did not have to do this. It has really helped the students.” Shelby Fry, junior from Paris, Tennessee, played Maggie “the Cat” Pollitt in “Cat on a Hot Tin Roof” and said it was a wonderful experience working with Brown on the play. “He’s been very helpful and kind, and he’s given so much time to all of us in the theatre department,” Fry said. “He’s taught us a lot, I think. Working with him has been a very valuable experience.” Brown said coming back to Murray State was a great reminder of when he first decided acting was something he wanted to do for the rest of his life and that he was able to make that dream come true. He said it was also refreshing to see the thrill and joy of the students who are just starting out in theater. “Theater is a chance to learn and explore,” Brown said. “That’s what it was to me. But I’m that way about arts education in general. Art and humanities changed my life.” Brown said he was not a good student in high school because he was lazy and apathetic.
He said when he started at Murray State, he held the same attitude for two semesters until getting involved in the Theatre Department and being challenged by one of his English professors. “Something happened around that time,” Brown said. “Something planted a seed in me. I wanted to learn. I started challenging myself. It wasn’t just a teacher challenging my assumptions about life or about any number of things.” Brown said he was on the Dean’s List within a year after this change of heart at Murray State. “The chances of being a professional actor or a professional writer are slim,” Brown said. “But it doesn’t mean they’re insurmountable. I was determined to be where I am, so my dreams came true.” Brown quoted author David Mamet and said, “If you don’t take your ball and go home, you eventually get in the game.” He encouraged students who are pursuing a career in the arts to not allow their ego to get in the way of what should be their main goal: to express. He said simply feeding that hunger and allowing it to teach you more about yourself is what will help you grow as an artist. “No one can take that away from you but you,” Brown said.
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W. Earl Brown as “Big Daddy” in “Cat on a Hot Tin Roof.”
Murray resident hits the high notes
Kate performing at First Presbyterian Church of Murray.
Da’Sha Tuck || Staff writer firstname.lastname@example.org
While growing up in Streator, Illinois on the 190-year-old family farm, she thought she would become an English teacher or take on the family business, but her voice was meant for the stage. “My mom and dad are both from longstanding farm and teaching families,” Kate Tombaugh said, Murray resident and professional opera performer.
NAVIGATING HER YOUTH
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Kate grew up in a household with her parents and a brother who was five years older. She said it always seemed like she had three parents. Kate’s mother, Cathy Tombaugh, taught piano lessons and led the church choir. Music has always been a part of the family’s thread. “The first time I sang publicly was when I was 2,” Kate said. “It was a duet with my brother. He put me up on a chair so we could match the microphone.” Cathy said she knew her daughter had something special even before she was 2 years old. Cathy said one day when they were all leaving a church choir
rehearsal, she heard Kate singing as they walked to the car. Cathy’s mother, Kate’s grandmother, turned to Cathy and said, “We have another one.” Kate is the third generation of singers in her family. It began with Kate’s grandmother. In her hometown, Kate said, there were always things for her to do that helped her perfect her skills. She credited her mother for always supplementing practices and events when there was not anything going on locally. Kate’s dad said he has always tried to be as supportive as he can be but Cathy was always the “guiding factor.” In the beginning, Cathy also worked for the town’s community theater. A renovated barn was converted into the theater where Kate began performing at age 4. Cathy said the best part about Kate performing was that family would attend together to support her. Once she began high school, her family helped her travel for voice lessons. “Kate was a very typical teenager, trying to decide what she wanted to participate in,” Cathy said. “This was difficult for Kate because she was interested in everything: dance, violin, sports
and theater.” Cathy said as years progressed Kate had to pick between sports and singing events. She said this was hard on Kate. When it came time to graduate Kate was named her class salutatorian. She graduated from Woodland High School with 38 other students. “Kate was good in English, but I tried to encourage her to go to a college that would allow her to double major in English and in music,” Cathy said. Deciding on a college was a challenge, Kate said. “Everyone in my family has gone to U of I [University of Illinois] since they paid tuition in corn,” Kate said. She decided to attend Illinois Wesleyan University in Bloomington, Illinois, instead.
SLOW BURNING ROMANCE
Beginning college, Kate was determined to finish both of her degrees in four years. She entered college with a major in English literature and a major in vocal performance. She worked several part-time jobs to get through college including being a campus tour guide, a resident adviser and a
college music intern at a local church. Kate refers to vocal performing as her “slow burning romance.” She did not always want to be a professional singer at all and especially not an opera singer. “I don’t know what it is,” Kate said. “I think I am just so levelheaded that I always thought this is just too irresponsible.” It grew on her over the years and with the development of her skills, other professionals encouraged her to sing opera. “There were many times Kate called home crying, saying she wanted to quit vocal performance and focus on English,” Cathy said. “Other times she called wanting to quit English and focus on vocal performance.” Anytime Kate thought her career as a vocal performer was not going to work out, she said some opportunity came up that kept propelling her forward. At one point, she thought she would have to quit school for a few years because of finances, but she received a scholarship that allowed her to continue. Kate said opera was not on
see KATE, page 10
Students venture into the real world Nick Erickson
Assistant Features Editor email@example.com
There’s a world full of wonder out there. Several of Murray State’s graduating seniors are seizing the amazing opportunities they have been presented with, getting the chance to travel the country and pursue a profession they love. Peter Northcutt, accounting major from Benton, Kentucky plans to move to St. Louis next month to join Teach For America, an organization created to break down education inequity. “I'll be teaching middle school English to underprivileged, at-risk students in struggling St. Louis public schools,” Northcutt said. Northcutt said the job came about when analyzing his post-graduation options. He said the organization helps certify people who didn't study education in college and gets them placed in schools that are in need of equality-minded teachers “For someone that doesn't know exactly what he wants to do with his life, this seems like a really exciting, meaningful next step,” Northcutt said. Alexis Macklin, business administration major from San Diego has a position with Amazon lined up after graduation. She plans to move to Los Angeles this summer to be an area manager for the company. Macklin says the job essentially came to her after maintaining activity on social media. “My professor Dr. Joy Humphrey encouraged me to keep my LinkedIn profile updated and follow the businesses and recruiters of the position that I would want,” Macklin said.
“After actively following those pages and both liking and commenting on articles they posted, a recruiter send me an assessment on the job opportunity saying I would be a good fit. Macklin said her new position will come with a good deal of responsibility. “As an area manager, I have overall responsibility for a number of associates in my warehouse,” Macklin said. “I will be responsible for staff and work closely with other senior managers and department managers. “ Branson Schroeder, exercise science and pre-physical therapy major, said that he plans to work as a college missionary through Fellowship of Catholic University Students (FOCUS). Though originally intending to attend the University of Florida this fall, Schroeder said he has felt the desire to pursue this path throughout the semester. “This semester I have just felt this desire to serve in a way that I feel I can only do while I'm young and reach this generation of college students for Christ,” Schroeder said. Schroeder said his past experiences with missionary groups have inspired him to do the same. “I've had a number of missionaries and college students who have made a huge impact on my life and led me toward living for the will of God,” Schroeder said. Schroeder said he will not know which college campus he will be traveling to until June, but he is happy and assured this is what is best for him. “It's brought so much joy to my life,” Schroeder said. “I know this is where I need to be right now.”
Kate From Page 9 her radar, but she was required in college to be in the university’s opera twice. Her first role was during her sophomore year performing in Mozart’s “The Magic Flute” where she played the second lady and a dancing monkey. “Every single night, someone knocked my head and I couldn’t see,” Kate said. “The second night my head was askew and I couldn’t get off the stage. I tripped over the large platform and fell.” She said she can still remember how the laughter of the crowd echoed in her oversized
May 4, 2017
costume-monkey’s head. At that point, Kate was fed up with opera. She said she remembers saying opera was stupid, and she did not want to be in an opera ever again, but thankfully her opinion of opera changed. During her junior year, she won Illinois Wesleyan’s concerto/aria competition. Kate said after this her family began speaking more seriously about what the next step was for her singing career.
FIGHTING EVERYTHING OPERA
After graduating college, Kate began the process of applying to graduate school. “I had five graduate school applications filled out,” Kate said. “I sat in my car for about
45 minutes and cried, then went home without mailing my applications.” She was lost and confused because she did not know what to do next with her life. Kate thought maybe she would just forget the singing career and get her teaching certificate. She decided to stay in Bloomington, Illinois and work. In the fall, she applied for auditions at the Metropolitan Opera. Kate auditioned and was one of four district finalists. Kate had not even told her parents about the audition. “I called my mom and she said, ‘hi, honey, I can’t talk right now, taking food to your dad on the combine’,’” Kate said. Three weeks later she went to regionals in Chicago and placed third. The head judge sat Kate down after the competition and said, “let’s talk about opera and you.” Kate still did not see herself singing opera. “Looking back on it, that was the first time someone outside of my family said they thought I could be successful as an opera singer,” Kate said. “It ended up being the catapult I needed.” Three months later she received a job offer from the Opera Theater of Saint Louis, which she accepted. After those three months, Kate was offered another job in Austria, Germany where she worked for two months. Upon returning to the states, Kate was accepted into the College-Conservatory of Music at the University of Cincinnati. “I cried a lot,” Kate said. “It was really hard when 90 percent of my classes were singing in front of my peers and taking criticism all the time.”
DIVINE INTERVENTION HAPPENS
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Struggling through graduate studies, Kate was not sure she could continue. She also had an ear, nose and throat doctor tell her he believed she may need surgery on her vocal cords.
Kate’s voice teacher, at the time, began giving her private voice lessons three times a week but she was low on cash. A call came in from Visiting Angels, a network of non-medical home-care agencies. They wanted to hire Kate to sing to an elderly woman named Elsa once a week. “I had no idea what I was doing,” Kate said. “I showed up and she was on a ventilator with her eyes closed.” Kate sang for Elsa for a year and a half until Elsa died. Things kept happening for Kate. After the job with Elsa, she got another scholarship which sustained her through the rest of her graduate studies. After graduating, Kate was hired for a job in Utah for nine months. After completing her contract with the company in Utah, Kate had the opportunity to sing with other companies before deciding to freelance.
CURRENTLY LIVING THE DREAM
Kate’s career has been steady for the past few years. She now balances being a professional opera singer, mother to a 9-month-old baby girl and being a wife. She and her husband, Steven Weimer, moved to Murray in the fall of 2014. “He came in and asked me what I thought about moving to Murray and I had no idea where Murray was located,” she said. “I looked it up quickly and then agreed to make the move.” Kate said it was a whirlwind but they got married two months later. Weimer is an assistant professor of music at Murray State. They both attend the First Presbyterian Church of Murray where they both sing in the choir. “It’s interesting,” Kate said. “I don’t know what next year is going to bring, but right now I feel like, because I’m at this point in my life where I am happy, that singing is more successful.”
Kate performing at First Presbyterian Church of Murray.
Graduating seniors reveal their best study habits Sydni Anderson
Contributing writer firstname.lastname@example.org
As the semester closes, final exams and grades lurk in the immediate future, spurring a study-intensive lifestyle in the Murray State student populace. However, the upcoming exams will be the last for some seniors as they move towards graduation. In celebration of their departure, five seniors offer a parting gift – a timely round of study tips for freshman to junior undergraduates to put to good use. Renn Lovett, a nursing major from Memphis, Tennessee, has aspirations to go to medical school after graduating. Lovett said it is best to break up course material and study smaller portions in advance when preparing for an exam. “When it comes to the day before the test, I will have already reviewed everything important, so I just go back over what I think will be on the test,” Lovett said. “In nursing, you can’t just memorize facts and equations and forget them after the test. You have to apply everything you learn in the hospital to help save lives so it’s important to actually learn the information.”
Lovett said his studying “no-no” is Staengel said. “I am a fast reader though, jumping into a study group before going and I found that highlighting while I am over the information himself. studying helps me slow down enough to “Don’t wait until the last minute,” really take everything in. Additionally, if Lovett said. “Don’t do it [study with a I study for math I have to have a white group] unless you yourself are comboard and work out as many problems fortable with the information. It will as I can.” only make you more stressed out.” Delia Root, international studies Outside of a group setting, Lovett major from Madisonville, Kentucky, said her study tips include not waitsaid he likes to study in his room while burning candles and drinking lots of ing until the last minute, knowing how coffee. Jaime Staengel, an economics and German double major from St. Louis, said she likes to study, read and do homework at Pogue Library. “I study in a quiet environment and a mainly clean one,” Staengel said. “My studying - Ashley Munie, biomedical science major ‘no-no’ is having music playing. I personally get too distracted by it, and if I am trying to memorize something with music and have much you can study at a time and prioritizing what needs to be studied first. to recall it later without the music it is more difficult since I did not study it Root said she studies in her room or a that way.” quiet place. She said likes to keep every She said two things she finds useful to thing organized and make lists of what do while studying are highlighting and to study. using a whiteboard. “One of my quirky habits is if it’s a “Sometimes I get a little excessive nice day I like to sit by windows, but and highlight almost all of my notes,” facing away from them,” Root said. “The
You are invited... All MSU graduates of December 2016, May 2017, and August 2017 are invited to participate in nondenominational Christian baccalaureate service thanking God for our graduates and asking His blessing on them in the future. Families and friends also are invited to attend as well as faculty, alumni, students (former, present, and future), and the general public. There is no admission charge, and no tickets are needed. Graduates and faculty are invited to wear academic regalia and participate in the processional and recessional, but this is not required. The service will be held on campus in Lovett Auditorium on Friday, May 12, 2017, from 7 to 8 p.m. Mr. John Dale will be the speaker. This event is sponsored by the Christian Faculty Network of Murray State University and supported by the MSU Campus Ministers Association. Participants are asked to arrive 15 minutes early. For further information please contact Dr. Winfield Rose at email@example.com. If possible, please register your intention to participate at msucfn.wufoo.com/forms/zfgejca1oc74sw.
Do not wait until the last minute. If you listen to one study tip, listen to this one.
natural light is kind of energizing but if I am faced towards the window I will get caught up with what’s happening outside.” With study groups, Root said she has had both good and bad experiences. “The main thing is knowing how you learn and how the others in the group learn,” Root said. “If you aren’t compatible, it isn’t going to work out. Also make sure they are serious so you aren’t spending time goofing off.” Ashley Munie, biomedical science major from Breese, Illinois, said her studying tip is for students to find what works best for them. “You could try drawing pictures and diagrams, recording lectures and listening to them, and retyping your notes 20 times,” Munie said. “I have used all of these techniques for different classes, and they have worked well in some and not in others, so use the beginning of the semester to be flexible with your study habits.” She said listening to and taking notes on recorded lectures is easier than relying on notes taken in class. Her most stressed study tip is reviewing notes every night before classes.
“Do not wait until the last minute,” Munie said. “If you listen to one study tip, listen to this one.” Anthony Caturano, nonprofit leadership studies major from Paducah, Kentucky, said he has three study tips: have a friend that takes better notes than you, get a “Murray mom” or someone who makes sure you’re staying on task and get some good rest. “Sleep like a mighty pharaoh in his impenetrable sarcophagus,” Caturano said. To pregame for a studying marathon Caturano said he has a set routine. “I am a product of my environment, and as such, my environment must reflect who I am as an individual,” he said. “I fill my study area with Power Ranger memorabilia, put on my onesie pajamas, turn off the lights, lay in my bed, and moan in agony due to my insurmountable apathy. Then I get to studying.” But despite this routine and his tips, Caturano said there are no rules to studying. “In the dog-eat-dog world of higher education, it gets wild,” Caturano said. “There are no laws and there is no turning back. It’s just you and whatever adversary that stands in your way of a 4.0 GPA.”
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The News May 4, 2017
‘The Circle’ disappoints Spreading
Grant Dillard Staff Writer
The concept for “The Circle” is undeniably interesting. A film that acts as a suspenseful thriller while also giving commentary on the state of social media and internet privacy sounds like a good idea. Unfortunately, despite its interesting premise, “The Circle” is a boring snorefest that will most likely be forgotten by the time audiences leave the theater. The film focuses on Mae (Emma Watson), who has the chance of a lifetime when her friend gets her a job at the Circle: a powerful social media company where everyone stays connected. As she continues to improve while working there, she catches the attention of the company’s founders, Eamon Bailey (Tom Hanks) and Tom Stenton (Patton Oswalt). They give Mae the task of attaching their new camera to herself, allowing her daily life to be broadcast for all to see. At first, Mae seems to like the project, but over
Emily Williams Features Editor
Photo courtesy of Filmjabber.com
time she starts to realize the consequences of her actions as both her friends and her family are affected. The biggest problem of “The Circle” is that the film is absolutely dreadful to sit through. What makes the film especially uninteresting is that there really isn’t a conflict. There are some protesters of the Circle that pop up every now and then, but the film never really shows Eamon Bailey and Tom Stenton doing anything villainous. The audience is supposed to hate the Circle and want it to be taken down, but for most of the movie, the company doesn’t commit any crimes or cause any disasters. It’s not until nearly the end of the movie that something terrible happens because of the Circle. However, by then, it’s way too late for the audience to care. “The Circle” isn’t without its highlights. The best aspect of the film has to be Tom Hanks, who is charming and charismatic as Eamon Bailey. The best scenes in the film revolve around him. Sadly, though, Hanks only has five scenes in the whole film. After his first scene where he
gives a presentation about new technology, he doesn’t show up again until halfway through the film. Throughout the rest of the movie, he only makes small appearances every now and then. It’s baffling that the film would hardly use such a great actor like Tom Hanks, and it will be disappointing for those who want to see “The Circle” mainly because he’s in the movie. Other actors like Patton Oswalt, John Boyega, Karen Gillan and the late Bill Paxton, in his final role, are really good. Much like Hanks, though, they aren’t in the film as much. The main focus is on Emma Watson as Mae, who, while not bad by any means, isn’t exactly the greatest. Watson’s performance is passable, but her character could’ve been played by anyone else and it wouldn’t have made that much of a difference. Despite an interesting concept and a great performance from Tom Hanks, “The Circle” isn’t worth moviegoers’ time or money. The only reason to watch “The Circle” is if someone is having trouble falling asleep. The film should definitely help in that case.
Recently, a very brave barista at Gigabytes attempted to guess who my favorite Disney princess is. As he mulled over the options out loud while constructing my usual for a Thursday morning, none other than a piping hot 12 oz. mocha, I grew eager to hear his guess. “Ariel.” No. “Snow White.” Nope. “Sleeping Beauty.” Not quite. As his confidence dwindled and he handed me my steaming cup of kryptonite for the morning, I smiled and let him off the hook. “Belle,” I told him. He nodded and smiled and I went on my way with my coffee. But as I walked on to my 9:30 class, I began to question my answer. Was Belle really my favorite Disney princess? Had I given this enough thought? What was it about Belle that made her my favorite princess? So many questions began to run through my mind but one lingered on: Why are we taught, from a very young age, to admire and adore these characters? What is it inside of us that wants to be smart and strong and beautiful like princesses such as Cinderella, Ariel and Belle? Or strong and brave and handsome, like Prince Eric or Prince Charming? As silly as it was, I contemplated this for the entirety of my trek to class and even a little as I sat down for lecture. Belle obviously models several characteristics that I admire, if I claim she is my favorite Disney princess. She is intelligent, loyal, honest, trustworthy, beautiful and strong. All of the things that I strive to be but don’t always live up to. Wouldn’t you say the same thing goes for you, assuming you have a favorite Disney princess/ prince? Don’t we love to idolize the characters who mirror those qualities we strive to have? Life is no fairytale. But I would be silly if I assumed this was news to you. Of course, we want to be intelligent, loyal, honest, trustworthy, beautiful and strong. I don’t know many people who don’t want to be those things or to hold some other set of positive attributes. But could it be that our focus has been misplaced? We all have the capacity to be these things. We all have the ability to work hard at what we do, stick up for a friend, do the right thing even when it’s harder or takes up more time. Or maybe it’s something as simple as whistling while you work and having a better attitude about the responsibilities that have been placed in front of you. But one thing is for sure: Disney princesses and princes are nothing compared to the power and influence you possess inside of you. You pass people on campus every day whose hearts may be broken, who may be in need of a friend or who need to be rescued. And guess what? You have the power to be that for them. To be a friend and a hero and a confidant. So I encourage you to be the magic that someone else needs in this world. Shine a light and spread some cheer. You may just become someone’s favorite Disney character.
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‘Incubus’ keeps momentum Nick Erickson
Assistant Features Editor firstname.lastname@example.org
Once a chart-topping act, Californian rockers Incubus have slipped under the radar in recent years. The former kings of nu-metal have resurfaced for their eighth studio album, cleverly titled “8.” With this release, however, the group has shifted into more accessible territory. To the shock of many, “8” is co-produced by EDM artist Skrillex. Those expecting his creative input to reflect drastically on Incubus’ sound will be disappointed to find there is no dubstep here. Listeners will come to find a concoction of grungy guitars, airy keyboards and filtered vocals. While honing in on their signature grit, the mix feels watered down and thin compared to earlier works such as 2004’s “A Crow Left of the Murder…” Opener “No Fun” hits hard with down-tuned guitars and high energy drums. Frontman Brandon Boyd belts throughout what is one of the catchiest choruses on the record – “I feel like I am always the last to know,” Boyd sings. Listen-
ers are presented with an issue that plagues the duration of the album: the lack of clarity. The way Boyd’s vocals are recorded sounds muddied. Though sounding powerful, the effects are often irking. On “8,” keyboardist Chris Kilmore has notably strayed from the classic turntables he incorporated in the band’s younger days. However, he aids in filling out the space when necessary and shines in his own select moments. Kilmore’s spacey synth paves the intro to “State Of The Art,” creating an electronic atmosphere that reluctantly morphs back into a standard alt-rock sound. “Glitterbomb” graces listeners with driving chords from guitarist Mike Einziger, soon exploding into a full-band attack reminiscent of Tool, though minimalistic compared to Tool’s characteristic zaniness. The album’s highlights are often the work of Kilmore, who helps reintroduce digital influences on “Loneliest.” Arguably the standout track of the record, this number puts the guitar onslaught on the backburner for a few minutes. With a mellow, synthesized beat courtesy of drummer José Pasillas II, Kilmore and Boyd set
a low, ambient mood. The infamously dreaded sound of dial-up meets a spastic drum-fill and a heavy distorted bass riff on “Love In A Time Of Surveillance.” Boyd channels his inner Kurt Cobain here, with raspy annunciation and also showcasing some uncharacteristic falsetto. However, his voice becomes smothered in the drone-like ending guitar loop. Closer “Throw Out The Map” gives Boyd an outlet to voice his thoughts on how he’s grown as a person. “Where do we go from here?” Boyd sings over an instrumental resembling something between Sugarcult and Stone Sour, ending with a bang and fading into oblivion. Progression as a band is natural, and Incubus is taking note of this. While simultaneously pushing for aggression, the band composes tracks that could easily fill a stadium of dadrock fans. Though not bringing innovation to the table and littered with mal production, “8” is simple and fun enough for listeners to consider re-adding the band to their playlists. Eight albums into their career, Incubus is a hair closer to finding their niche.
TWEET OF THE WEEK “You know when you’re like 28 and you feel 78? Yeah same.” -Nicholas Megalis
The News May 4, 2017